The offseason is finally kicking off in earnest, as free agency begins today at 3 p.m. PT. Contracts can’t officially be signed until Aug. 6 (we all remember what happened with DeAndre Jordan), but teams can start meeting with players. With nearly 200 free agents, expect the dominos to start falling soon.
We’ll be keeping a list of the Clippers’ free agency news and rumors here, so pin this page for reference throughout the week, and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Internal free agents
- Leonard declined his player option Sunday.
- He is expected to take meetings with other teams, but the Clippers are still heavy frontrunners to retain him.
- Per Sam Amick of The Athletic, Leonard has frequently communicated with the team this offseason and “attended several recent workouts for their draft prospects”.
- Lawrence Frank lauded Jackson’s season when speaking after the draft, making it clear the team wants him to return. “Reggie was terrific and Reggie is such a great, great story,” Frank said. “When you think about how things changed for him in 12 months after the bubble to then come in in the different roles and then eventually starting, and then what he did in the playoffs and the run he had; it makes you really, really happy for him. We’d like to bring Reggie back.”
- The Clippers are limited to offering Jackson a starting salary of $11 million. Other teams could outbid L.A., and one such suitor is New Orleans, per Sam Amick. Amick says “New Orleans is pivoting its focus to Jackson as a possible Zion Williamson partner.”
- Amick reports that the Knicks, Celtics, and Nuggets also have interest in Jackson.
- UPDATE (Monday 5:05 p.m.): Batum is returning to the Clippers!
- The veteran forward rehabbed his value this past season in Los Angeles and is now drawing interest from other contenders.
- Batum’s wife Lily tweeted a heartfelt thank you to Clippers fans Monday.
Quoiqu’il se passe, les fans des Clippers resteront mes préférés et dans mon cœur pour toujours ✨— Lily E.Batum (@LilyBatum) August 2, 2021
J’ai jamais autant ri qu’avec vous.
Merci pour tout, le soutien indéfectible, l’Amour que vous nous avez donné chaque jour.
Franchement, je vous aime ❤️ #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/S14efgRegj
External free agents
- UPDATE 8/3 1:00 p.m.: DeRozan is joining the Bulls on a sign-and trade.
- Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “one name described as a target of the team’s interest in free agency is DeMar DeRozan,” an L.A. native who has interest in returning home.
- UPDATE 8/2 3:00 p.m.: Ball is joining the Bulls via sign-and-trade.
- The Clippers have had persistent interest in Lonzo Ball.